EXPLAINING THE FIVE DIMENSIONS OF BRAND PERSONALITY
Identify what fits for your brand, and you’ll have a clearer path ahead in all of your branding and marketing strategies.
Adjacent, but not identical, to the “Big Five” personality traits, the five dimensions of brand personality are sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness. While every brand lies somewhere on the spectrum for each one of these attributes, the most enduring brands largely emphasize just one primary trait and optionally one secondary trait.
WHICH PERSONALITY IS YOUR BRAND?
Every business wants to be sincere, but brands with sincerity as their primary attribute are those that are honest, genuine, cheerful, wholesome, and down-to-earth. Think of things that give you warm-fuzzies: family, friendship, caregiving, gifting, service, honor, and generosity. Sincerity is an attribute you’ll see associated with many food, hospitality, and safety brands.
Exciting brands are often those that appeal to a younger demographic, with energetic advertising, high-octane design, and celebrity endorsements. These brands are daring, spirited, imaginative, cool, unique, contemporary, and anti-establishment.
We’ve never done a branding project where the client didn’t object the first time they saw the word “competence” to claim that they were, of course, competent. The clients we’ve worked with are qualified leaders in their field, but that is not what we mean when discussing the brand personality trait of competency. Here we mean brands whose ethos is reliability, responsibility, trustworthiness, intelligence, successfulness, and confidence.
Like competence before it, we often hear that the brands we work with are all sophisticated and complex – but again that is not the definition at work here. Sophistication as a brand personality means luxurious, glamorous, upper class, and charming.
Rugged brands are those built to last, the tough and outdoorsy types that will “take a licking and keep on ticking.” These brands are hard-working, authentic, strong, muscular, and high-quality.